cloth, 256 p., $30
The title of this book, Outer Spaces, has a double meaning. Diarmuid Gavin has certainly designed gardens for outer spaces, but many of his ideas seem to come from outer space. The 25 gardens covered in this book are all extremely innovative. These are way-out spaces for lovers of the eccentric or eclectic who have lots of money with which to indulge their fantasies. From the garden room that moves on a track across the lawn, synchronized with water jets to avoid disaster, to the Art Deco design complete with a gigantic silver cocktail cabinet shaped like a lemon at the bottom of the garden, many of Gavin’s designs are simply outrageous.
This is not a book for the average person attempting to do something a little different in the garden. However, Gavin’s explanations of how he develops a new design are very interesting. His thought processes and the photographs on which he bases the finished product are fascinating. Outer Spaces is enjoyable just to see how off-the-wall someone can be — with unlimited imagination and funds to match. From a practical view, Gavin offers readers some suggestions for lovely combinations of plants. Read the book for fun!
— Joan Richards, library volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden